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South Africa: Stop Pay-TV From 'Airing Our Channels For Free' - SABC Tells Regulator

According to BMA's media sources, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is taking on ICASA, seeking to stop subscription-driven broadcasting services from carrying the public broadcasters three free-to-air television channels, namely SABC 1, SABC 2  and SABC 3.

The former stems from the existing provisions by South Africa's communication regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), to have the public broadcaster give its content for free to hosts such as MultiChoice Group and StarSat under their 'must carry' provisions in place.

The public broadcaster currently has seven channels which include SABC1, SABC2, SABC3, SABC News, SABC Sport, Parliament, and SABC Encore.

The public broadcaster insists that the "must-carry" provision of the broadcaster's channels do not include SABC Sport, SABC Education or any other SABC television channel either already existing or to be developed. It fears that the communication authority's draft regulations stretch the scope of the "must-carry" concept to include all the free-to-air public broadcasting service programmes available in the channels of the public broadcaster."

The above forementioned extends the obligation to SABC Sport, SABC Education and any other current channel or future channel that the broadcaster may develop. The public broadcaster goes on to warn ICASA that liable to commercial negotiations, the public broadcaster may, in its caution, add the carriage of these additional channels. "All content available at no cost pronounces the broadcaster cost bearer for transmission to subscription broadcasting services."

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